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Abilify Lawsuits

Medical studies link Abilify, the top-selling antipsychotic in the U.S., to compulsive gambling and eating. Abilify users who who have accumulated heavy gambling debts are filing legal claims against Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Did you experience complusive behaviors after taking Abilify? You might be entitled to compensation.

Abilify and Complusive Behavior

Doctors prescribe Abilify (aripirazole) to nearly a million Americans each year to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, allowing them to lead more stable lives. While the drug is effective at helping to control symptoms, it comes with a side effect that patients don’t expect: compulsive gambling.

Several studies linked Abilify to compulsive behaviors – binge eating, hypersexual behavior and pathological gambling – in people with no history of these problems prior to taking the drug. This compulsive gambling is so addictive that it’s difficult to stop without professional help.

illustration of down arrow and money

Lawsuits against Manufacturers

The addiction drives people to gamble by means necessary and to continue doing so even if they can’t afford it. They gamble with credit cards or borrow money. In severe cases, people feel they need to gamble to continue living. While this type of side effect might not cause physical harm, it can cause psychological distress and ruin lives.

People left with crippling debt after compulsive gambling caused by Abilify may have the option to file lawsuits against Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company and Bristol-Myers Squibb for compensation.

Why File an Abilify Lawsuit?

Obligation to Public

Drug companies have an obligation to inform the public about any harmful side effects of drugs they create and market. Unfortunately, sometimes the warning comes too late. In the case of people who took or still take Abilify, this may be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars too late.

stack of hundred dollar bills

No Mention of Compulsive Behavior

While the drug’s label warns of other side effects such as suicidal thoughts or increased risk of death in elderly patient with dementia, it does not mention compulsive behavior – specifically, gambling. In the meantime, the medication continues to rake in billions for Otsuka and Bristol-Myers and more and more patients may be at risk.

pocket aces

History of Abilify Litigation

This is not the first time Bristol-Myers Squibb faced lawsuits for Abilify. The company paid $515 million to settle federal charges accusing it of illegal marketing – including marketing its popular drug to nursing homes in 2007, despite the fact that the drug may cause death in seniors with dementia.

Abilify is not FDA-approved for treatment of dementia. The company denied any wrongdoing.

In other similar drug lawsuits, complaints accuse drug companies of the following:
Failing to warn the public of serious side effects
Selling a defective drug
Concealing health risks
Misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of a drug
Improper marketing

Abilify Compensation

Types of compensation from Abilify lawsuits may include:

Expenses for treatment of compulsive gambling
Recover money lost to gambling
Severe emotional injuries
Restore quality of life
Punitive damages against manufacturers

How We Can Help

Drugwatch is committed to informing and supporting people who have suffered severe, sometimes permanent, injuries from improperly marketed drugs. Our Patient Advocates speak with people daily about the medical and financial burdens that can result from a drug maker’s negligence. We offer free advice, as well as resources on our website, to help people cope with the changes forced upon them by potentially dangerous drugs like Abilify.

If you or a loved one was injured by Abilify, contact our Patient Advocates. Services they can offer include:

Daily Availability

We are available daily to answer your questions and offer other needed support.

Answer Legal Questions

Help you make sense of the legal process and answer questions about any legal claim you may have.

Locate Legal Resources

Help you locate an experienced pharmaceutical injury attorney, if you decide you’d like to file a lawsuit.

Similar Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits

Abilify and Mirapex

Abilify is not the first drug to draw lawsuits for compulsive gambling. Another drug known for causing compulsive behaviors is the Parkinson’s drug Mirapex (pramipexole). The drug affects a dopamine receptor in the brain that controls emotions and gives people a sense of pleasure – the D3 receptor. Researchers think that Abilify also affects the D3 receptor, which is why it also causes compulsive gambling.

box of Mirapex

Gary Charbonneau v. Boehringer Ingelheim

A retired Minnesota police officer named Gary Charbonneau filed the first Mirapex compulsive gambling lawsuit. He lost $260,000 to compulsive gambling that lasted several years. In 2010, a jury ordered Boehringer Ingelheim, the drug’s maker, to pay Charbonneau $8.3 million dollars, including punitive damages. The jury found that Boehringer failed to warn about the risks, and a number of other lawsuits followed.

Boehringer Ingelheim logo on their building
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  1. Gandey, A. (2010, December 13). Pramipexole lawsuits a wake-up call for prescribers. Medscape. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/734153#1
  2. National Library of Medicine. (2014). Abilify. DailyMed. Retrieved from http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=c040bd1d-45b7-49f2-93ea-aed7220b30ac#section-1
  3. Department of Justice. (2007). Bristol-Myers Squibb to pay more than $515 million to resolve allegations of illegal drug marketing and pricing. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2007/September/07_civ_782.html
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